I remember the first time I went trekking and boy, was it something!
Early morning, the birds had woken up from their slumber. So did we. We had all gathered in a circle introducing ourselves and the organisers were laying out the rules but my mind had already drifted off to the peak of the mountain as the cool breeze caressed my hair.
We started climbing slowly, chatting with friends. I kept on climbing eagerly like a monkey would. It wouldn’t be far from the truth when I say that I felt and acted smug having competed with my friends and to be the one who took the lead.
The challenge was yet to come.
The sun had ascended to its full potential and we all were losing water off our body.
I looked behind me. My friends were climbing at a steady pace, passing water to other trekkers.
I stopped where I was and sat down on a rock. This time I looked around me, down below me. Everything was covered in green as if someone has splashed the colour on a canvas and was waiting for an inspiration to complete the picture.
I wondered why I never stopped and looked at my life this way. How many beautiful moments I might have missed while I was running in the race. How many times I could have enjoyed my own company instead of always pleading people to be there for me. How many breaths I could have saved if only I could have just stopped and realized why I was making a fuss out of things which didn’t really matter.
“Do you realize how far we’ve come?”
I looked up to see one of our organisers standing next to where I was seated. His eyes were fixed to a place into the distance.
“You see that mountain? Well that’s where we were when we started. And now look where we are.”
I looked with wonder at the mountain his finger was pointed at. He chuckled and left to join the others and I was alone once again but not really.
I had visitors. They spilled through my eyes. When did that happen?
We climbed further up and my friends joined me. As we reached the top, we raised a toast to overcoming our fears.
And so my affair started with the mountains.
I’ve continued going on treks on and off. I’ve met new people, the ones who inspired me to go one step further everytime and the ones whom I’ve inspired to try it out.
An unexpected trek happened to the Himachal Pradesh. For amateurs, I would advice to consult your doctor first.
This trek was actually a test for me to see how far I had come into healing of my body. I’d had a stretched ligament and had been taking it easy. But I knew I couldn’t keep on pampering myself forever.
So I jumped at this opportunity to go trekking in the Himalayas. I have been a city girl all my life so I always grab such opportunities to get lost into the mountains (not literally).
It was a tough cookie to crack. I found myself unfit at a certain point when I couldn’t go further. One more step and my legs would start shaking.
I would take time then to stop. There was no hurry to get somewhere. I was comfortable sitting on a bench or on the snow looking at the view, at how far I had come.
The best thing about trekking is having a dog by your side. Didn’t I mention that before? My bad!
They are there to inspire you and to teach you how to be in the moment. They sniff around taking their time and then they move on, wagging their tails while they wait for you to catch up. Occasionally I would stop to take out biscuits and share it with them.
Smacking their lips they would take off again. It would be my cue to get going.
Whatever the circumstances, I would always have someone coming along and motivating me to take one step after another.
The numbers went on dwindling as people started quitting because the climb got much more difficult.
I did feel like quitting too but kept on going, talking in my head, telling myself I’d come so far not to go back again.
Finally when we reached the top, we celebrated with a bowl of Maggie and hot piping mug of coffee.
We all sat in silence as we took in the scenery around us. Was it less than any heaven!
Since then, i’ve been pushing myself further to take up more challenges not just in trekking but in life.
Will I give it up for any other thing? I don’t think so. And neither should you if you’ve ever fallen in love with the mountains, that is.
So what was your experience like, do comment!